By Cindy Lowe
With signature style, Walkabout Theater Company’s U.S. premiere of The Brink! Or Nobody’s Ever Kissed Me Like That… exhilarates all the senses of the mind as it asks patrons to consider, “What happens now…here on the brink?”
Bracing, raw and visceral at its best, The Brink’s chaotic synchronicity grabs audiences, shakes them to their core and forces them to delve deeper into a simultaneous swirling of dark complexity and light simplicity.
The foreboding sense of chemistry begins with a feeling of immersive saturation as patrons walk into Links Hall where, almost immediately, the performance begins. The story is set literally on the brink of existence in a cafe at the edge of the world. This a sensual chaotic wonder features an eclectic set design by Dina Klahn and Auriel Jones and bold lighting design by Ken Urbina.
Performed by a stellar cast of Walkabout Ensemble members Nigel Brown, McCambridge Dowd-Whipple, Cooper Forsman, Dana Murphy, Katie Mazzini, Thom Pasculli and Alex Rodriguez, this group of actors shares remarkable chemistry. Colorful costumes from the hands of Myron Elliot-Cisneros shine. Michael Saubert, Jr.’s work with weaponry is visually stimulating.
The Brink! offers powerful dance expression in every scene, interwoven with music innovatively led by Fides Krucker and ranging from iconic American pop to jazz standards, all sung with firm conviction.
“We chose songs we really feel strongly about,” said Director Thom Pasculli, of the show’s songbook. The production is co-created by Walkabout and Krucker in association with the National Performance Network. It is fresh from its preview performance at the Cricoteka Centre in Krakow, Poland, and is slated to travel to India for the 8th International Theatre Olympics in Mumbai and New Delhi, following it’s short Chicago run.
While this work is at times disturbing and uncomfortable, this U.S. premiere is certainly worth the price of admission.
Walkabout Theater Company presents “The Brink! Or Nobody’s Ever Kissed Me Like That…” through March 30 at Links Hall, 3111 North Western Avenue, Chicago. More information and tickets are available here.